Spicy King Ranch Chicken Casserole

King Ranch chicken casserole with salad on a plate.
Diana Rattray
Prep: 12 mins
Cook: 50 mins
Total: 62 mins
Servings: 8 servings
Yield: 1 casserole
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
571 Calories
32g Fat
25g Carbs
45g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 8
Amount per serving
Calories 571
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 32g 41%
Saturated Fat 12g 58%
Cholesterol 165mg 55%
Sodium 884mg 38%
Total Carbohydrate 25g 9%
Dietary Fiber 3g 10%
Total Sugars 3g
Protein 45g
Vitamin C 14mg 70%
Calcium 286mg 22%
Iron 3mg 19%
Potassium 530mg 11%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

This well-seasoned King Ranch chicken casserole is a big family favorite. You can put the tasty Tex-Mex casserole together earlier in the day, then cover and refrigerate until you're ready to bake. Make the dish with chicken breasts or chicken thighs, or use a combination of both.

This dish is open to all kinds of variations. Feel free to replace one of the cans of condensed soups with 1 cup of sour cream, or, if you aren't a fan of mushrooms, use all cream of chicken soup or half cream of celery. Instead of using all cheddar cheese, use a combination of cheddar and Monterey Jack cheese, or use part pepper jack cheese for a spicier topping. If you don't have a can of tomatoes with green chiles (Ro-Tel or similar), substitute with plain diced tomatoes and a small can of chopped green chile peppers. The casserole may be made with flour tortillas as well.

Serve with a tossed salad for an uncomplicated and fabulous family meal.


  • 2 1/2 pounds boneless cooked chicken

  • 1 medium onion, chopped

  • 1 green bell pepper, chopped

  • 1 (10 3/4-ounce) can cream of mushroom soup

  • 1 (10 3/4-ounce) can cream of chicken soup

  • 1 (10-ounce) can diced tomatoes with green chiles

  • 12 corn tortillas

  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt

  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

  • 1 dash cayenne pepper, or to taste

  • 2/3 cup chicken stock, divided

  • 8 ounces shredded cheddar cheese

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Ingredients for King Ranch chicken casserole.
    Diana Rattray
  2. Heat the oven to 350 F (180 C / Gas 4). Lightly grease a 9 x 13 x 2-inch baking pan or 3-quart shallow baking dish.

  3. In a large bowl, combine the chopped onion, bell pepper, half of the chicken stock, the condensed soups, and tomatoes with green chiles; stir to blend thoroughly.

    King Ranch chicken casserole sauce mixture.
    Diana Rattray
  4. Pour the remaining chicken stock over the bottom of the prepared baking pan. Layer half of the tortilla quarters or strips on the bottom and then top with half of the chicken.

    King Ranch chicken casserole corn tortilla layer.
    Diana Rattray
  5. Spoon half of the soup mixture over the chicken layer and then sprinkle with a little garlic powder, salt, and cayenne pepper. Repeat the layers.

    King Ranch chicken casserole layers.
    Diana Rattray
  6. Spread the cheese over the top of the casserole and then cover the baking dish tightly with foil.

    King Ranch chicken casserole ready for the oven.
    Diana Rattray
  7. Bake the casserole for 45 minutes. Uncover and continue to bake for about 10 minutes longer, or until it is hot and bubbling around the edges.

    King Ranch chicken casserole plated.
    Diana Rattray
  8. Serve the king ranch casserole with a tossed salad or sliced fresh tomatoes. Enjoy.

Glass Bakeware Warning

For premade casseroles or leftovers that are in a glass baking dish and have been refrigerated, do not place directly into a hot oven as the glass can shatter. Instead, place any cold glass bakeware into a cold oven to warm up while it preheats. Or, allow the bakeware to rest outside of the fridge for 30 minutes to reach room temperature while the oven preheats.


  • To cook the chicken, put it in a large saucepan or Dutch oven and cover with water. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to low, and cover the pan. Simmer for about 10 to 15 minutes, or until just thoroughly cooked. When the chicken is cool enough to handle, cut it into chunks.
  • Make it ahead: The day before or several hours in advance, prepare the casserole layers. Cover the baking dish tightly with foil and refrigerate the casserole. Take the casserole out of the refrigerator about 30 minutes before baking. Increase the baking time by about 10 to 15 minutes.

Recipe Tips

  • Add about 4 to 6 ounces of sautéed sliced mushrooms to the sauce mixture.
  • Add a 2-ounce can of sliced ripe olives (drained) to the sauce mixture, or sprinkle them over the top of the casserole.